Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
Canada’s Bid to Join TPP Threatens Access for Blind, Print Disabled
[by Sara Bannerman] There is a danger that, in Canada’s quest to join the TPP, Canada may cede whatever leadership it has gained in the field of progressive copyright provisions. Canada’s Bill C-11, the proposed “Copyright Modernization Act”, includes provisions that would allow people who are blind and print disabled to circumvent Technological Protection Measures to access works (S. 41.16). These provisions have been criticized for not going far enough, but they could put Canada on the map as being among the first to enact such provisions for the benefit of the blind and print disabled. Under the last leaked text of the American proposal for the TPP, these types of provisions would not be allowed as a permanent exception. Click here for more.
More European Government Officials Do Not Want to Ratify ACTA
Last week, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told a news conference that Poland would not move to ratify ACTA, warning that “the freedom sacrificed is too high a price to pay” to protect copyright. Bulgarian Economy Minister Traicho Traikov said he would “table a proposal to the Council of Ministers to stop the procedure of Bulgaria’s signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.” Slovenian Education, Science and Culture Minister Ziga Turk said that “The government is leaning towards freezing the ratification of the agreement. We do not see any practical need for Slovenia to ratify the agreement right now.” The Dutch Lower House backed a motion from the Green Left party which stated “the Netherlands should, for the time being, refrain from signing” ACTA. Click here for more.
MSF Briefing Paper on ACTA and Access to Medicines
Médecins Sans Frontières released a briefing paper describing how ACTA could affect access to medicines. Its release states that “As a treatment provider… MSF is deeply concerned about the impact of the enforcement agenda on the production and supply of affordable, legitimate medicines” and urges countries not to ratify the agreement. Click here for the briefing paper.
Spanish Supreme Court to Review ‘Sinde Law’
The Spanish Supreme Court has agreed to review the Sinde Law, which the Association of Web Users has challenged as unconstitutional. The Sinde Law creates a government commission to review allegations of copyright infringement, which can order internet service providers to block access to websites hosting infringing content. The Association of Web Users argue that only a court should have this authority. The Supreme Court also issued an injunction that will prevent the law from going into effect on March 1. According to Billboard magazine, the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries “has a list of more than 100 web sites that it will target with the law once the codes are enforced, including some of Spain’s most popular like Series Yonkis, Cinetube, Vagos o PorDescargaDirecta.” Click here for more.
Video of “Copy Culture” Presentation
With the takedown of Library.nu (formerly Gigapedia), the major US and UK publishers are joining the war on file sharing. This is a subject we’ll be paying a lot of attention to in the next couple years. Coincidentally, I gave a talk more or less on this issue at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference on Tuesday. Click here for the video.